Update Teaching Children Hymns: “Low in the Ground He Lay”

Why Good Hymns Matter for Your Children

 

“Mommy, I don’t want to die.” My then 6-year-old son said these words to me as we were driving through the hills of Ohio last spring. Gulp. I don’t want him to die either. I worked as a hospice nurse for 5 years but it doesn’t mean I always know how to talk about death with my kids. It can be really hard.

Me: “I don’t want to die either, buddy.”

Me: “We will die someday but death doesn’t win in the end. Do you remember that when we trust Jesus as our rescuer who died to rescue us from sin AND death we will be resurrected someday and have new bodies that will not experience sin and death?”

Son: “Just like the hymn says, ‘death shall not keep its prey.'”

I nearly fell over in surprise. We had been learning “Low in the Ground He Lay” an Easter hymn that spring. We had reviewed the verses and sung it together, but I often wonder how much my children actually understand. He got it, he really understood.

Me: “Yes! Exactly like the hymn says!

Son yelling: “Death CANNOT keep its prey!”

Practice “Low in the Ground He Lay”

We had been singing “Low in the Ground He Lay” with all my children laying on the ground.

“Death cannot keep its prey, Jesus my Savior;
he tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!”And

And the children quickly get up at the chorus.

Up from the grave he arose;
with a mighty triumph o’er his foes;
he arose a victor from the dark domain,
and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Is it a little cheesy? Yup. Is this hymn old- fashioned? Definitely. Does my son have an understanding of the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection that awaits believers? Tripple amazing YES!

Is it a little cheesy? Yup. Is this hymn old- fashioned? Definitely. Does my son have an understanding of the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection that awaits believers? Tripple amazing YES! Click To Tweet

Theology of Our Music

The hymns I learned as a child are what I sing to myself on my lowest days. Days when I can barely function. Days when God seems so far away. Days when grief seems overwhelming. But knowing some wonderful hymns to sing is a wonderful way to remind me of God, His character, and His love for us. The songs we sing to our little ones are their first taste of theology and their knowledge of God. I encourage you to teach your children some songs foundational hymns and songs in their formative years.

The hymns I learned as a child are what I sing to myself on my lowest days. Days when I can barely function. Days when God seems so far away. Days when grief seems overwhelming. But knowing some wonderful hymns to sing is a wonderful way to remind me of God, His character, and His love for us. The songs we sing to our little ones are their first taste of theology and their knowledge of God. I encourage you to teach your children some songs foundational hymns and songs in their formative years. Click To Tweet

It doesn’t have to be an old song, but make it a good song, not just one with a catchy beat.

My son was able to use the hymn as a tool to have a more complete understand of death and the resurrection. And he had the tool because we had planted it there before we knew we would need it.

These are some of the reasons that Christy and I are doing a series about teaching your children hymns, but I warn you that it may do as much for you as your children.

 

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